The third week in October is National Identity Fraud Prevention Week. Clients and workshop participants have shared with me their concern about possible identity theft resulting from discarded paperwork. More likely, however, is the risk of someone using your information gained electronically. You can be prepared by learning about both dangers.
In this series of posts from USA.gov, learn how to protect yourself from identity theft and what actions to take if it happens.
You can reduce your feelings of vulnerability by reading this article from The Federal Trade Commission about keeping your information secure.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers tips to prevent identity theft. (They’re the McGruff people, remember McGruff?)
While there are companies that claim to protect your identity, no company can promise that you won’t become a victim of identity theft. They can, however, alert you when someone has used your information, and they can help you clear your name if someone uses your information fraudulently. If you’re interested in learning what one of these companies can do for you, Consumers Advocate reviews 10 identity theft protection services.
Finally, be cautious about using unknown internet sources. Some scam artists make a living out of creating web sites that look authentic. If your bank or credit-card company sends you an email, make sure it really does come from them. Don’t click on links if you’re unsure; you can go to your financial institution’s website directly and look for the information in the email. And, if you get a bogus email – like I did today – you can forward it to your bank so they can follow up.
Do you have tips that might help prevent identity theft? Leave a reply, below.